Upon arriving here in Europe, you are amazed by the quantity and variety of bicycles people ride here. Gradually, patterns begin to emerge. One common pattern is what might be called the Dutch Standard. Here are several examples, presented for your consideration. Be sure to click on the images to view them in the original size.
This step-through design is very common; you find members of both sexes riding them because of it’s comfort and convenience. Our first example at left is pretty worn, but exhibits all the basics: Top tube swooping down to the down tube, ridiculously long steering head, single speed, enclosed chain, rear-mount center stand, and a rack in back. The owner appears to be very protective, as this example has a cable lock to secure the bike to the lamp post AND a cable lock around the seat post, AND a frame-mounted rear-wheel lock for good measure. Maybe the owner lost the key to one or more of the unused locks ? Maybe they really like that seat and don’t want it stolen and all cost? Or perhaps they just like the idea of having a spare for the spare, like the dual tail lights?!?
This next exhibit is a particularly stylish Dutch Standard, a Union Droodle, complete with tasteful paisley scroll work and a garland of flowers gracing the handlebar. I wish I had snapped a picture of the (obviously) proud owner astride her bike. She was as stylish as her ride.
Beyond the artistic touches, other items of note are the ergo grips and the dual-headlights: One down low, powered by a generator, the other mounted to the handlebar. Not sure what the rationale is, except that you can never have too much light in the darkness!
The final example is what could be called a modern interpretation of a classic, made by RIH. In it we see echos of the past, updated with modern touces like internally geared rear hub, front disk brakes, and a center-mount kick stand. Modern yes, but better? Depends on where you want to ride. Still, there is something about the stark simplicity, the uncluttered fusion of form and function that makes the Dutch Standard stand out in a crowd, and our bike of the week.
Oh, one other thing. Look closely at the handlebars. They all sport bells, but what is common to all of them? That’s right, all the bells are on the left side! It’s not just these bikes. ALL the bikes I saw over the course of a day in town had bells on the left side. Not sure why. It’s just Dutch Standard!